Rob joined the Foundation as the Interim Executive Director in 2023 following a 41-year career leading award-winning advancement programs at four universities and two hospital foundations in three countries. Most recently, Rob served as Executive Director of Advancement at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Prior to this, he was Executive Director, Development & Alumni Relations at University College Cork in Ireland, and Vice-President, Development & Alumni Relations at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada. He has also led multi-million-dollar campaigns with two hospital foundations. His experience in all aspects of the donor cycle is extensive. Acknowledged for his leadership in the area of charitable accountability, Rob led the first registered charity in Canada to earn the Ethical Fundraising License and the first university to earn the Standards Accreditation Trustmark from Imagine Canada. He has spoken at several national and international conferences of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners, Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE), and the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy, and served on the Board of CCAE. He was named the Outstanding Fundraising Professional by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Golden Horseshoe Chapter, and received the Mission Legacy Award of the St. Joseph’s Health System. Rob has a keen interest in international development and was part of a community development project in Nicaragua and served on a national fundraising committee of a Canadian international development agency. He also led Wilfrid Laurier University’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis in the sponsorship of three families. Rob is an avid runner having completed five marathons, including the Boston Marathon.
Abbie has been our Manager of Grants and Community Investment since 2015, overseeing granting cycles and managing special projects to advance the Foundation’s impact. Prior to joining the Foundation, Abbie worked in community and government settings in Toronto and Kitchener where she championed change as a leader in community development, outreach and engagement, program development and management of community facilities. She has worked on numerous initiatives to address a broad range of issues including youth social development, social isolation, diversity and inclusion, accessibility, and neighbourhood place making. Abbie is an active member of the Steering Committee for Philanthropic Foundations of Canada Grant Managers’ Affinity Group and is co-founder and facilitator of Communitech’s Coaches Peer- to-Peer, an alliance of professional coaches in Waterloo region. As an Associate Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation, Abbie partners with individuals and groups on strategy, leadership, and conflict management.
Garry has been our Grants and Administration Officer for more than ten years. Prior to this, he worked as a site foreman and business owner in the commercial metal roofing and cladding industry. Garry’s deep community roots include 15+ years as a coach and board member with minor sports, spanning football, softball and hockey. He is an active volunteer with Sertoma, a service club dedicated to the deaf and hard of hearing, and has also volunteered with the Child Witness Centre.
Emily Van Giessen
Emily joined the Foundation in 2019 as our Administration and Logistics Coordinator. Prior to joining the team, she worked behind the scenes at a local funeral home, supporting the funeral directors and the families they served. Emily also has experience in Waterloo Region’s not-for-profit sector both as a front-line worker and as a volunteer in a variety of roles.
The Donations Advisory Council helps to review all grant applications and make recommendations based on whether there is a good match between a request and the mission and priorities of the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation.
Susan Joy Hallman
Dr. Rita Khan
As an organization, we value the opinions and experiences of children and youth and are working to include them in our grant review process. In 2019 we embarked on a journey to rework our existing processes for external reviewers into some that are youth-friendly. We are grateful to all of the youth who have provided their feedback not only on grant applications but on our youth engagement efforts as a whole.
Have questions? Ready to get started? We'd love to hear from you! Please don't hesitate to get in touch with our team.